Embracing Our Differences Names Sarah Wertheimer Executive Director; Wertheimer, 30, has spent the past decade serving in the local nonprofit community

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Embracing Our Differences Names Sarah Wertheimer Executive Director

Wertheimer, 30, has spent the past decade serving in the local nonprofit community.


(Sarasota-Manatee, FL) Embracing Our Differences announces the appointment of Sarah Wertheimer as the organization’s new executive director. Wertheimer served as Embracing Our Differences’ associate executive director since 2014. In her new role, she will be responsible for overseeing the administration, programs, policies and strategic plan of the organization. Wertheimer will also coordinate fundraising and community relations campaigns. Michael Shelton, the organization’s former executive director, announced his retirement in February.

Dennis McGillicuddy, EOD’s co-founder and board chair, says that Wertheimer’s “winning personality, strong work ethic, passion for hands-on projects and longstanding commitment to community involvement make her perfect to lead this organization. Sarah flourished under Michael’s mentorship. We’re confident she will carry on his remarkable legacy and bring EOD to the next transformative level. As a sterling representative of the next generation, Sarah will inevitably have fresh, innovative approaches to the new challenges that will arise.”

Before taking on the role of associate executive director at Embracing Our Differences, Wertheimer served as director of development at The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee and, before that, as development coordinator at Children First. In 2017, she was chosen as a member of Leadership Florida Connect Class VIII. Wertheimer is a board member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and is co-chairing the organization’s National Philanthropy Day. She is also a volunteer and event chair for Planned Parenthood of Southwest & Central Florida, Children First, Inc., and the American Cancer Society. Wertheimer graduated from the Gulf Coast Leadership Institute in 2014 and served as a member of the steering committee for Equality Florida in 2015. In 2017, she was selected by SRQ Magazine as one of Sarasota’s “30 Under 30.” Born and raised in Sarasota, Wertheimer graduated cum laude from the University of Central Florida with dual degrees in philosophy and Spanish.

“It’s an honor to have been chosen for this role,” says Wertheimer. “I’m grateful to Michael Shelton and the board for putting their trust and confidence in me to continue EOD’s important mission. I’ve dedicated my life to building community partnerships, promoting acceptance, and finding innovative ways to empower people to live better lives while respecting differences. I’m honored to participate with a community of people who share these values.”

For 15 years, Embracing Our Differences has drawn on the passion and perception of artists, children and others to create powerful statements of diversity and acceptance in its annual outdoor public art exhibition consisting of 45 billboard-sized works of art and accompanying quotes. The scale and impact of this outdoor exhibition has continued to grow, attracting more than 2.7 million visitors since its inception. This exhibit is the heart of a year-round program of activities designed to use art as a catalyst to create awareness and promote diversity. The 2019 exhibit is scheduled for January 19 through March 14 in Bayfront Park in downtown Sarasota. For more information, call 941-404-5710 or visit www.embracingourdifferences.org.


About Embracing Our Differences

Embracing Our Differences is a not-for-profit organization that uses the transformational power of art and education to celebrate and promote the diversity of the human family. It accomplishes this through an annual, large-scale outdoor juried art exhibition and a comprehensive series of educational initiatives, programs and resources designed for teachers and students. Visit www.embracingourdifferences.org.

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